Quick Comparison of Chinese Beauty Platforms

Quick Comparison of Chinese Beauty Platforms

This is is a quick, non-exhaustive overview of platforms that cover beauty in China. The App Annie rankings refer to iOs platform in China taken on 12th July 2015. The Alexa rankings are from the same date and likewise only apply to China.

The most interesting finding for me is that all these platforms have “free to try” programs for cosmetics. The way they work is that users have to earn points by being active in the community. They then can use those points to get free products to try out. So, it’s a bit similar to beauty boxes, except that it’s not subscription-based.

Meila (美啦)

Meila is a mobile-first platform that was founded by a team of ex-Tengxun employees, led by Zhang Bo. They started in 2013 as a beauty e-commerce business, but quickly realized that this space was already too competitive (see Lefeng below). They then turned to the social network model, app-only. Recently, they expanded their platform to include the web, though. It ranks #15 on mobile in Health and Fitness.

Aoaola (凹凹拉网)

There is only scant information on the background of this website. It is the only one of all platforms covered here that does not have an app. But it seems to be pretty popular nevertheless. It was started in 2012 and has an Alexa ranking of around 4,500.

Guimi Wang (闺蜜网)

Started by a guy named Zhang Yaohui (张耀辉) way back in 2007, Guimi is another popular destination for beauty-loving Chinese women. It appears this company was later acquired by CBS Interactive China, which also owns LadyOnly. Guimi Wang has a pretty high App Annie ranking of 133 in Health and Fitness and also a high Alexa ranking at 168.

Piaopiao Wang (漂漂网)

This platform was founded by Li Shengbing (李胜兵), a former executive of one of the biggest and oldest Chinese social networks called Tianya. It was started in around 2011 and has an Alexa ranking of about 4,100.

Lefeng (乐蜂网)

Lefeng is not just a social network, but also an e-commerce company that has its own cosmetic brands. Behind Jumeiyoupin, it is the second-largest online beauty retailer. It was founded by Li Jing (李静), a former TV host. It has a mobile Lifestyle ranking of 146 and a web ranking of about 9,100.

Various

There are various beauty & fashion magazines that have big & active user communities. One of the oldest and most renowned is Ruili (瑞丽). LadyOnly has already been mentioned previously. Some others are 爱美女性网, 爱丽时尚 and 都市客. Last but not least, there is the media giant iFeng, which has a separate beauty & fashion category. And so does Taobao.

Comparison of beauty blogging scenes in Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia

Vietnam

Vietnam is clearly the most developed of the three. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that it also has the most flourishing beauty blogging scene. One of the most popular blogs is Love at 1st Shine. These two lovely ladies make learning about makeup & skin care a true joy with their huge smiles. Another one is The Skincare Junkie. You could say this blogger is the Paula (from Paula’s Choice) of Vietnam, going deep into the science behind skin care. That’s actually one thing that amazes me about Vietnamese beauty bloggers. They seem to be quite sophisticated. Just take a look at this post entitled “Sunscreen: 1/4 Tsp Rule Is Nonsense”. It’s about another post on futurederm.com, which is a site that dedicates itself to the science behind cosmetics. In the original post, the author tried to calculate how much sun screen was really needed to obtain the 2.0mg/cm2 recommended by the FDA. Somewhere, they made the assumption that the surface of the average human face is ~0.60ft2. But that’s wrong (it’s quite a bit less actually) and the Vietnamese blogger somehow spotted this error! Quite the scientists, these Vietnamese girls!
Another blogger I would like to mention is PrettyMuch.Channel. I think she is one of those with the biggest potential. I would like to say the Vietnamese Michelle Phan, but that would be kind of..contradictory? Anyways, I have already seen her collaborating with various brands and she seems to be the one who will be the first to make a living off her blog at some poin in the future.

Myanmar

It’s been only five years that this country has transformed from a dictatorship to a democracy. But it’s developing extremely fast. I started to observe Myanmar Facebook starting in early 2014 and at that time, there was only exactly one beauty blogger, Yangon In My Heart. And to this date, she has remained the most popular blog in the country. At first, she did mostly beauty tutorials, but later she also started to add fashion posts. The second most popular blogger is Phyo Day By Day. Just like most Myanmar women, she is very humble and doesn’t brag about her skills at all. I can tell, though, that lately she has been gaining confidence. She is now collaborating with Nuxe and other brands.
Third on the list would be Khin Poke’s Little Corner. Khin is a student of aesthetic medicine in Malaysia. Besides, she is also a makeup guru, which makes for a good combination! She has some of the most passionate fans who share her posts a lot. Unfortunately, she has not been updating her blog lately, because she is busy with her studies.

Cambodia

Unfortunately, there is not much I can write about Cambodia. I only found about four blogs, all more or less related to beauty and fashion. One is Alice in Angkor Land. It’s a fashion blog written by an overseas returnee. Her blog became popular in less than a year and she told me she already gets paid for some posts. Not bad! Another beauty blog is written by a professional makeup artist, Apple Love. And there is another blog by a Mean Sonyta, a professional model.

Bonus: Laos

I don’t know anything about Laos, but I would imagine it’s around the same as Cambodia. Both are relatively small underdeveloped countries. It will probably take some more time before more bloggers emerge in these places.